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The American jobs landscape is in a never-ending state of flux—some careers are going the way of the dodo, while other professions are exploding in popularity.

From endless technological advancements to a growing emphasis on sustainable living and health care needs brought on by an aging population, various high-level economic developments are reshaping the landscape of U.S. employment opportunities.

So, what are the red-hot jobs of not just tomorrow, but for years to come? Read on as I explore the 20 fastest-growing occupations as identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, supplemented by occupational insights and tabular information from O*Net Online.

Whether you’re considering a career shift, guiding others in their career choices, or simply keen to understand emerging job trends, this high-level summary is your concise guide to the most promising occupations for the next decade.

 

What You Can Expect to Learn Here


occupation fastest growing construction crane
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Each occupation comes with an overview of its projected growth rate from between 2022 and 2032 (for context: the average expected growth rate for all occupations is 3%—every occupation I’ll discuss today expects far greater growth). I’ll also list the median income, number of existing jobs (as of the BLS’s most recent data, gathered in 2022), and a snapshot of context for why the occupation is expected to enjoy significant growth.

I’ll also provide an outline of the necessary skills, typical job tasks, and educational requirements (provided by O*Net Online’s database for each occupation), which should help offer a glimpse into these blossoming occupations—a baseline of knowledge that might very well spark your interest in one of these career paths.

20. Veterinary Assistants + Laboratory Animal Caretakers


veterinary assistants laboratory animal caretakers
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  • Growth rate: 20%
  • Median income: $34,740 per year
  • Number of jobs: 114,800
  • Context for occupational growth: Growth in the pet care industry and the need for animal care in research settings
  • Skills required: Animal care, basic veterinary knowledge, physical strength, empathy
  • Typical tasks: Feeding and bathing animals, cleaning cages and work areas, assisting with medical procedures
  • Educational/training requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, on-the-job training; certification may be beneficial

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19. Veterinary Technologists + Technicians


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  • Growth rate: 21%
  • Median income: $38,240 per year
  • Number of jobs: 122,900
  • Context for occupational growth: Increasing pet ownership and advanced veterinary care needs
  • Skills required: Medical knowledge, animal handling, communication, attention to detail
  • Typical tasks: Assisting veterinarians, conducting clinical procedures, performing laboratory tests
  • Educational/training requirements: Bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology (technologists) or associate’s degree in veterinary technology (technicians), licensure or certification depending on the state

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18. Personal Care + Service Workers (Other)


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  • Growth rate: 21%
  • Median income: $34,670 per year
  • Number of jobs: 87,000
  • Context for occupational growth: Growing demand for personalized services and an increase in leisure time among certain demographics
  • Skills required: Interpersonal skills, patience, adaptability, customer service
  • Typical tasks: Providing personal care, assisting with daily activities, offering companionship
  • Educational/training requirements: High school diploma or equivalent for some roles, on-the-job training

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17. Taxi Drivers


taxi driver occupation
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  • Growth rate: 21%
  • Median income: $30,670 per year
  • Number of jobs: 177,300
  • Context for occupational growth: Urbanization and the increasing need for flexible transportation services contribute to growth
  • Skills required: Driving skills, navigation abilities, customer service, time management
  • Typical tasks: Transporting passengers, maintaining vehicle cleanliness, collecting fares
  • Educational/training requirements: Valid driver’s license, local taxi driver’s license or permit, knowledge of local geography

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16. Home Health + Personal Care Aides


home health aide occupation
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  • Growth rate: 22%
  • Median income: $30,180 per year
  • Number of jobs: 3,715,500
  • Context for occupational growth: Aging population and preference for in-home care services over institutional care
  • Skills required: Empathy, patience, physical stamina, communication
  • Typical tasks: Assisting with daily living activities, basic health-related services, light housekeeping
  • Educational/training requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, on-the-job training; certification might be required for certain tasks

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15. Solar Photovoltaic Installers


solar panel installer occupation
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  • Growth rate: 22%
  • Median income: $45,230 per year
  • Number of jobs: 29,400
  • Context for occupational growth: Growth in renewable energy adoption, particularly solar energy, due to environmental concerns and policy incentives
  • Skills required: Technical skills, physical stamina, attention to detail, safety-consciousness
  • Typical tasks: Installing solar panels, connecting solar panels to electrical systems, ensuring safety standards
  • Educational/training requirements: High school diploma or equivalent, on-the-job training, technical school or community college courses in solar photovoltaic installation

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14. Operations Research Analysts


operations research analysts boardroom occupation
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  • Growth rate: 23%
  • Median income: $85,720 per year
  • Number of jobs: 109,900
  • Context for occupational growth: Increasing demand for data-driven decision-making in businesses to improve efficiency
  • Skills required: Analytical skills, mathematical ability, problem-solving, knowledge of statistical software and databases
  • Typical tasks: Applying mathematical techniques to solve problems, optimizing business processes, data analysis
  • Educational/training requirements: Bachelor’s degree in operations research, analytics, mathematics, or related field; some positions might require a master’s degree or doctoral degree

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13. Computer + Information Research Scientists


computer information research scientist occupation
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  • Growth rate: 23%
  • Median income: $136,620 per year
  • Number of jobs: 36,500
  • Context for occupational growth: Rapid technological advancement, especially in artificial intelligence and machine learning, fuels demand
  • Skills required: Programming, critical thinking, complex problem-solving, innovation
  • Typical tasks: Developing new computing technologies, enhancing existing computer systems, conducting research
  • Educational/training requirements: Master’s or doctoral degree in computer science or a related field, research experience; some positions might require a doctoral degree

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12. Actuaries


actuary occupation laptop spreadsheet
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  • Growth rate: 23%
  • Median income: $113,990 per year
  • Number of jobs: 30,000
  • Context for occupational growth: Increased need for risk evaluation in insurance and pension sectors due to economic variability
  • Skills required: Mathematical aptitude, analytical thinking, problem-solving, proficiency in statistics and actuarial software
  • Typical tasks: Designing insurance policies, pension plans, calculating premiums, managing financial risk
  • Educational/training requirements: Bachelor’s degree in actuarial science or related field, passing a series of actuarial exams, professional certification

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11. Occupational Therapy Assistants


occupational therapist assistant
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  • Growth rate: 24%
  • Median income: $64,250 per year
  • Number of jobs: 45,100
  • Context for occupational growth: Increased demand due to aging baby boomers and growing awareness of occupational therapy benefits
  • Skills required: Patience, creativity, empathy, communication, and physical strength
  • Typical tasks: Assisting in therapy sessions, educating on therapeutic exercises, aiding patient recovery
  • Educational/training requirements: Associate’s degree in occupational therapy assisting, vocational school training, state licensure

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10. Software Developers


software developer occupation
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  • Growth rate: 26%
  • Median income: $127,260 per year
  • Number of jobs: 1,594,500
  • Context for occupational growth: Persistent and increasing demand for computer software, mobile applications, and innovative technology solutions
  • Skills required: Programming, problem-solving, analytical thinking, teamwork
  • Typical tasks: Designing software, coding, testing applications, collaborating with other developers
  • Educational/training requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field, strong programming skills

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9. Physical Therapist Assistants


physical therapist assistant occupation
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  • Growth rate: 26%
  • Median income: $62,770 per year
  • Number of jobs: 100,700
  • Context for occupational growth: Increasing demand due to aging populations and the prevalence of chronic diseases
  • Skills required: Physical fitness, compassion, dexterity, interpersonal skills
  • Typical tasks: Assisting physical therapists, providing therapy exercises, monitoring patient progress
  • Educational/training requirements: Associate’s degree in physical therapy assisting, state licensure or certification; bachelor’s degree might be required for some positions

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8. Physician Assistants


physician assistant occupation clinic
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  • Growth rate: 27%
  • Median income: $126,010 per year
  • Number of jobs: 148,000
  • Context for occupational growth: Expansion of health care services and a shift towards team-based care models
  • Skills required: Medical knowledge, patient care, teamwork, communication
  • Typical tasks: Examining patients, diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medication, assisting in surgeries
  • Educational/training requirements: Master’s degree from an accredited physician assistant program and state licensure; some positions might require a doctoral degree

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7. Epidemiologists


epidemiologist microscope occupation
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  • Growth rate: 27%
  • Median income: $78,520 per year
  • Number of jobs: 10,000
  • Context for occupational growth: Growing awareness of public health issues, pandemic preparedness, the need for disease surveillance
  • Skills required: Analytical, critical thinking, communication, problem-solving
  • Typical tasks: Studying patterns and causes of diseases, analyzing data, designing public health studies
  • Educational/training requirements: Master’s degree in public health or epidemiology; a doctoral degree for advanced research roles

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6. Medical + Health Services Managers


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  • Growth rate: 28%
  • Median income: $104,830 per year
  • Number of jobs: 509,500
  • Context for occupational growth: Growth driven by an aging population, increased focus on health data and informatics, evolving health care regulations
  • Skills required: Leadership, organizational, communication, analytical thinking
  • Typical tasks: Overseeing medical services, managing budgets, ensuring compliance with health care laws
  • Educational/training requirements: Bachelor’s or master’s degree in health administration, public health, or related field; experience in health care

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5. Information Security Analysts


information security analyst occupation computer
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  • Growth rate: 32%
  • Median income: $112,000 per year
  • Number of jobs: 168,900
  • Context for occupational growth: Increasing cyber threats and the need to protect sensitive data across industries
  • Skills required: Cybersecurity, network security, analytical thinking, problem-solving, attention to detail
  • Typical tasks: Implementing security measures, monitoring networks, responding to breaches, security assessments
  • Educational/training requirements: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or related fields; certifications might be required

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4. Statisticians


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  • Growth rate: 32%
  • Median income: $98,920 per year
  • Number of jobs: 33,300
  • Context for occupational growth: Growing importance of statistical analysis in decision-making across various sectors
  • Skills required: Statistical knowledge, analytical thinking, proficiency in statistical software, communication
  • Typical tasks: Designing surveys/experiments, analyzing and interpreting data, reporting findings
  • Educational/training requirements: Master’s degree in statistics or mathematics; doctoral degree might be required for some positions

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3. Data Scientists


data scientist computer occupation
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  • Growth rate: 35%
  • Median income: $103,500 per year
  • Number of jobs: 168,900
  • Context for occupational growth: Increasing reliance on big data and the need for data-driven decision-making in various industries
  • Skills required: Statistical analysis, programming, data visualization, machine learning, problem-solving
  • Typical tasks: Analyzing complex data sets, predictive modeling, data mining, developing algorithms
  • Educational/training requirements: Bachelor’s or master’s degree in data science, computer science, statistics, or related fields

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2. Nurse Practitioners


nurse practitioner occupation
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  • Growth rate: 45%
  • Median income: $121,610 per year
  • Number of jobs: 266,300
  • Context for occupational growth: Increased demand for health care services, particularly in primary health care, is the key driver
  • Skills required: Advanced clinical skills, patient care, communication, decision-making, empathy
  • Typical tasks: Providing primary and specialty care, patient assessments, prescribing medications, health education
  • Educational/training requirements: Master’s degree in nursing, state licensure, national certification; some positions might require a doctoral degree

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1. Wind Turbine Service Technicians


wind turbine service technician occupation
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  • Growth rate: 45%
  • Median income: $57,320 per year
  • Number of jobs: 11,200
  • Context for occupational growth: The surge in renewable energy, especially wind power, drives demand for skilled technicians
  • Skills required: Mechanical skills, physical strength, stamina, troubleshooting, critical thinking
  • Typical tasks: Installing, maintaining, and repairing wind turbines; safety compliance; technical problem-solving
  • Educational/training requirements: Technical school diploma or associate’s degree in wind energy technology, on-the-job training, safety certification

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About the Author

Riley Adams is the Founder and CEO of WealthUp (previously Young and the Invested). He is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.